New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday decided to extend the ongoing ban on international flights till May 31, 2021, in wake of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country. However, the DGCA has said that the scheduled international flights will be allowed to operate on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis. 

"In partial modification of circular dated 26-06-2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity of circular issued on the above subject... regarding scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs IST of 31st May 2021," the circular issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.

The DGCA, however, said that the international passenger flights under air travel bubble arrangements will continue. The circular said that the restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA. Vande Bharat Mission and scheduled flights under the travel bubbles India so far created will continue, the DGCA said.

Passenger air services were suspended on March 23, 2020, due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19. Domestic flight services, however, resumed from May 25, 2020. 

Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. But special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral "air bubble" arrangements with selected countries since July. 

India has formed air bubble pacts with around 27 countries including Kenya, Bhutan and France. Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan